The ChurchWorks Commission is led by 15 Christian denominations and umbrella organisations with the authority and authenticity to collaborate with government and equip local congregations to transform the lives of the most vulnerable in our country and communities.
Each Commissioning Organisation is represented by 1 or 2 Commissioners, who meet together twice a year for prayer and fellowship, catalyse collaboration with one another, national and local government and other strategic partners, and review progress on the Commission’s goals.
In early December, the Commissioners met together in London. The Commissioner meetings are a hugely encouraging opportunity - they allow Commissioners to discuss major issues and developments within their priority areas, such as how churches and other community groups are responding to the cost-of-living crisis through the Warm Welcome Campaign and how more churches can get practically involved with tackling issues such as loneliness, poor mental health and supporting children and families who find themselves in vulnerable situations.
This time, Commissioners were particularly keen to look ahead to 2024 and consider how they and the churches they represent can best support their communities and the country to flourish. They had an exciting discussion with a number of our charity partner organisations to think about how churches can scale up existing efforts to support children to grow up in stable, loving families supported by the local and national church. They shared their perspectives on the big issues facing the country and their churches in the year ahead - with many particularly concerned by the ongoing impact of the cost-of-living crisis, and considered how churches can help make the case for tackling the crisis with politicians ahead of a General Election.
The meeting was also the first opportunity for Commissioners to meet with the new independent Chair of the Commission - the Right Revd Philip Mounstephen, the Anglican Bishop of Winchester. Bishop Philip, who was previously the Bishop of Truro, spoke of his excitement in succeeding the Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler, as Chair of the Commission. He told the Commissioners that he saw ChurchWorks as a wonderful example of “the people of God rolling up their sleeves” for the Kingdom of God and that he is excited to use his role as a member of the House of Lords to build partnerships with government.
Commissioners also confirmed the creation of a Steering Group to help to strengthen decision making and accountability, and broaden the people able to represent the Commission publicly. The Steering Group is made up of:
- The Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Winchester (Chair)
- Pastor Agu Irukwu, Senior Pastor of Jesus House For All Nations (part of the Redeemed Christian Church of God) (Vice Chair)
- Jude Levermore, Head of Mission for the Methodist Church in Britain (Vice Chair)
- Stuart Keir, General Manager of Assemblies of God GB
- Paul Weston, Regional Leader for Pioneer South
- Major Lisa Lloyd-Jones, Divisional Leader for Leader Development in the Salvation Army
The ChurchWorks Commissioners will meet again in the Spring. The Spring meeting will be the first meeting for the United Reformed Church, who were invited to join the Commission in late 2023.